‘Boat 船’ by Zhu Jinshi 朱金石

I haven’t blogged for a while, largely as I’ve been overwhelmed with settling back into UK life, UK culture, a new job as Research Curator for Chinese Arts Centre, back into PhD land and up against numerous intrusive medical tests. It’s time to play catch up, firstly with a few remaining things from my Shanghai days, although apparently I will be back there in two weeks time for a very short trip. I’ll talk about that soon.

When the ShContemporary Art Fair 2012 was taking place, during the time when I co-curated ‘NOW INK’, there were many other exhibitions opening at the same time, one of which was ‘Boat 船’ by Zhu Jinshi 朱金石 at Pearl Lam Galleries offsite venue in Building 4 of 500 Ruijin Lu. A great space and unmissable as you can see below. This exhibition fed my love of paper, paper art, immersive large-scale installations that silenced you, well silenced me as you negotiated its architectural interior structure…stopping to pause and take it is fragile constructed beauty.

This new work by the Beijing-born artist Zhu Jinshi, is a 15-metre installation composed of 10,000 sheets of rice paper that took 50 days and 14 skilled workers to construct. The traditional Chinese rice paper (xuan) that is the primary medium for this piece embodies ‘strength and resistance to corrosion, symbolic of time itself’ making clear references to Western minimalism, a play between his love of art and architecture and between the paradigm of ‘east’ and ‘west’. Zhu Jinshi says, ‘While time only moves forward, the Boat can sail in any direction. The Boat’s cultural resonance is constructed of time itself, continuously ebbing and flowing through our imagination.’


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